Sunday, April 29, 2012

That was quick! Announcing...

Baby girl Boo!  I started having contractions around 2pm, but didn't say anything to Liam until about 5pm.  We were at our friends' house and Z was playing with their kids and having a ball.  I knew last time I had a while from first contractions to delivery, so I wasn't worried.  I downloaded a contraction app to my phone and started tracking.  Pizza arrived, we all chowed down and by this time I had told Liam, so we went home after that with a slight detour to Chris's and told his wife (who had a stomach bug, ahh) that we might need their services later in the night.  At home Liam put Z to bed, while I finished the last page of my paper!  Things were getting a bit dicey around 11pm, so we decided to call Chris to stay with Z while we went to the hospital.  Thanks to Google Voice I was texting my mom and grandmom throughout to keep them up to date.  

After a quick check in through the ER, we were up to L&D.  I was seen by a doc at 12:15am, got my beautiful epidural at 2:00am, slept for 2 hours after calling my fam in the States, woke at about 4:00am, called Liam who was in the room and told him to get to L&D and Boo was born at 4:38am.  It was a lot quicker than last time and the recovery has been a whole lot smoother.  I actually took a shower and wore real clothes for part of today!  The girl gang came over to visit us and inform me that Boo's early arrival kind of spoiled my baby shower plans which was supposed to be today.   Oh well, the best laid plans...

Z came to the hospital yesterday with Liam and throughly enjoyed her little sister.  Now we just have to keep her from climbing on, poking or accidentally scratching Boo.  It will be interesting to see how things change as a family of 4!

   Boo!

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's on?

Looks like we may be seeing for our new arrival sooner than we expected.  And I finished the last page of my paper during my mild contractions.  Having them as we speak, last time around we were already at the hospital for a check up so this time we have to make the call ourselves.  It's a little scary!  But I think now that I have finished my paper and we have just run around the house trying to pack the hospital bag...we're out of here.  Be back soon with pics of the little one!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Getting some help around the house

We may not have to wait much longer for that help around the house.  Our neighbors, who have the maid we love, have asked us if we would like to take her on.  When they hired Melody a year ago they were both working, had 3 kids at home and were just trying to make things easier.  Now only one of them is working, they have a son in university, who needs some financial help, and they feel like they just don't need as much help.  I think they are also having some issues with their teenagers taking advantage of having someone in the house to clean, ie leaving clothes, food, etc all over the house.  They came over last night to discuss the particulars of her contract, exactly what they have had her doing, her hours, time off, etc.  To say we are excited is an understatement!  She cleans and organizes like a dream, she's a great babysitter (Z adores her) and with the new baby around it will be great to have the help.

Now we just have to get used to the idea of us as employers, make sure we have all of the lines of communication open and try not to feel awkward with someone else living in our house, well, living in the little apartment in the back. Melody and her husband will be moving in next week, it's only a 100 yard move, but we have to clean up the little apartment in the back because we have just been using it as storage.  I have literally never set foot out there in the almost 3 years we have lived here.  Our friends have been really great about the whole thing saying they can take all of the furniture with them and bring over pretty much everything that they need.  We just need to order another cable box and subscribe to the Filipino stations they have over here.  I'm sure it will take some getting used to, but at this point I'm just glad to know we'll have someone working for us that we can trust, knows what she's doing and we really like.

Z will still go to nursery 3 days/wk, but after my mom and grandmom leave having Melody around will be a godsend.  I had a tough time adjusting at times with Z.  There were a few crying breakdowns in the first couple of months with Z from sheer exhaustion.  I can take a longer nap during the day by letting Melody take over a feed or just spend some alone time with Z when needed.  Keeping this house clean is nearly impossible between Z and the dust and ensuring that at least the dishes and laundry are done daily will keep me from losing it.

I've also been applying to jobs/networking like a rockstar, well as much as a super pregnant lady can be a rockstar.  I've still apparently been able to get away with just being fat when it comes to people that don't know me or maybe 4 or 5 months pregnant, so perhaps people are not as put off by the belly as I thought.  I'm looking to start work in August after we get back from our summer vacation and that's when a lot of people return to the country, so I think that it would actually work out well from a hiring perspective.  Not much will get done before that as far as processing visas, residency etc, even after a hiring decision is made it usually takes 8 weeks to process, so 3 months from now is a nice cushion for starting work. 1.5 single spaced pages to go!     

Monday, April 23, 2012

First Swimming Lesson

Z had her first swimming lesson last Friday.  Liam went into the pool with her and I watched from the sidelines.  She LOVED it, as we knew she would and she totally freaked out when it was time to get out. But she did throughly enjoyed the swimming part, except when they tried to put her on her back.  She did really well with putting her head underwater and blowing out bubbles.  There were a few coughs and sputters, but she was pretty much just happy to be in the water.  This will be a nice scheduled daddy daughter time, particularly when Boo arrives.  We also have a little pool for the front garden that we have filled with ball pit balls that she loves to splash around in, jump in and out of and just cool off in the heat.

We also found the best produce in the country at a mall express grocery store.  We went in just to see what the finished mall looked like and were absolutely flabbergasted when we walked into the store and there was fresh fruit and veg sitting out like it was in a normal store.  Usually here there isn't a concept of produce rotation, they will just throw new stuff onto old stuff, bruised and rotten food may or may not make it into the stands.  It's just terrible most times that I stick to frozen veg, berries and things like that.  I leave Liam to pick through for the good things.  So this will be a nice little detour on our trips back from the lessons.  There was only one other couple there and they have only been here for a year, but the wife hates it.  I'm looking forward to talking to her again on Friday, finding out about her experiences and seeing what can be done to make it better.

The paper is moving along and my level of procrastination is slowly decreasing, especially as another expecting mom that I traded freezer meals with went into labor in the 12 hours after we swapped meals.  She wasn't due for another 9 days!  I need to get out of this "I have so much time" mindset.  Requirements for today: 1) finish paper 2) pack hospital bag 3) do some laundry.  So exciting!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Family Visit

My mom and grandmother have finally bought their tickets to fly over for Boo's arrival.  I didn't think they were going to come because we couldn't fully find the tickets this year.  We gave them the equivalent of one ticket, which they could split or just use for my grandmother since she isn't working.  We have also asked my grandmom to stay for an extra week.  She seems ok with that, but worried my grandfather won't like it.  Well I say he's just going to have to deal.  I love my grandfather, but the man spends about 19 hours/day in his room watching old cowboy movies with a pair of cargo shorts over his pjs and pockets full of pens, pencils, mints, etc.  I don't think he should really be dictating anyone's international travel schedule.  Aside from the trips to the airport, picking kids up from school or the train station, which we are all very grateful for, he's pretty much a homebody.  So my mom will be here for 2 weeks and my grandmother for 3.  We would have preferred 4 weeks, but we weren't going to push it.

I'm a little excited and also worried.  Last time I was so focused on entertaining them and this time with Z and Boo I think I'm just going to be too pooped.  But it will be nice to have them here when we go to the hospital, so they can look after Z.  She's going to freaking love it!  It will be nice to have a semi-full house.  My grandmom will also bring over all of her cooking supplies, which takes a whole other level of stress out of the new arrival.

A friend, Chris, said something to me today that made me think about my new arrival in more concrete terms.  We haven't found out the sex, so it will be a big surprise and I think Liam and I are just both in the mindset that this will be a girl.  My family is very female heavy.  I'm the oldest of 4 girls, followed by a boy born when I was 18.  I was never really around him as a baby and growing up.  I'm the oldest grandchild of 14, although it's pretty much half and half the boys were either too close in age to me or far enough away that I was in college and didn't babysit them.  I guess the reason it struck me is that I don't know if having a boy will feel any different for me.  Will I do the same things?  Will I treat this potential boy the same way I treat Z?  I don't find the way we are with her to be particularly girl oriented.  Other than me trying to put a barrette in her hair once in a while and having her rip it out I think we've been pretty good at making sure she has dinosaurs and dolls to play with.  I guess the idea of raising a boy is just something that never really planted itself in my mind, until now.  Sweet Jesus this baby is right around the corner and trying to make his/her way out Alien-style as we speak.

And I'm down to one paper to go.  6 little single spaced pages left and I'm a graduate! (as long as I don't fail any classes or have made some kind of credit miscalculation, yikes)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pregnancy Meltdown

I can't quite remember if I had one of these last go around, but I certainly had one yesterday.  Liam made an innocuous joke about dieting, which was directed at me and I just about lost it.  The rest of the day was spent with me doing some serious dialoguing in my head and just feeling really sad.  I've been making so many plans for working out after pregnancy and I can't wait to get to them, but knowing how far I am from my goal is really depressing.  It all culminated with me having a sob fest in bed and trying to get Liam to sleep in the spare room, which he usually does on Saturday nights to rest up for work.  Needless to say it didn't work, he knew I was upset and I'm sure my tears made him feel terrible even though they had a lot more to do with me than what he actually said.  So I'm a crazy hormonal mess and my newest freakout, other than weight, is that I won't finish my papers before I have the baby.  Z was one day late, so I feel like I have so much time, but s/he could arrive any day now at this point. 

I feel like I've been pregnant for the past 2+ years with my body not actually belonging to me between pregnancy and breastfeeding.  I can't wait for my body to feel like it's actually mine again and not community property.  While I will be breastfeeding this time around again, I am determined to get to the gym/workout dvds/just walking as soon as possible after having this baby.  Starting 2 months after baby day, in July, I'm starting a lifestyle change (I hate diets and even when I was at my smallest and lost 30lbs in college I never went on one) and working out at least 5 days/wk.  Working at this pace I should be at my goal by July 2013.  It's a whole year away and I'm just hoping that there isn't some kind of catastrophic birth control failure that has me knocked up again during that year.  In my family, with our historical fertility, it is completely and totally possible and freaks the hell out of me.  One that note, back to writing...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter

We had a quiet Easter with the ham coming out of the oven at 10:30pm.  This gave us just enough time to eat some piping hot slices before we just wrapped it back up in foil and turned in for the night.  It will certainly be enjoyed throughout the week, but our planning wasn't exactly the best on that one.  Z decorated cookies and eggs over the weekend, which was pretty much just her eating the cookies and crushing the eggs in her hands and trying to eat the shells.  At least we didn't have to clean it up because we did it at one of the events for my mom group.  Liam was there once and once again had to stop himself from knocking out a 4 year old who knocked Z about 4 feet across the room with a kid ottoman.  She was more shocked than hurt, but still, not cool.  She didn't get an Easter basket, but she did get a chocolate bunny.  I really could have done some sort of egg hunt or something, but I'm tired pretty much all of the time now. 

Dishes, laundry,  and straightening up the house are pretty much the most housework I can get done on a daily basis.  Our anniversary is coming up next week and we've both agreed that we will not be getting one another gifts or any other types of presents.  I said we could both send one another an e-card/a little love note or something.  Unlike some women when they say they don't want anything for Valentine's Day/anniversary/etc, I don't want ANYTHING because I won't be getting him anything.  The thought of trying to find a gift, wrap it and all that just doesn't appeal to me at all.  I think Liam will probably buy me flowers, but he wouldn't expect reciprocation on that, so that's fine.  We're going out to our fondue dinner tomorrow night and that will be our anniversary celebration.  I'm also going to start Z at gymnastics classes this week and hopefully enroll Liam and Z in swimming classes starting next weekend.  We need to get her lessons because she doesn't fear water at all and we can't have her fearless and completely unable to swim. 

I've been getting a page a day for my papers and between those cleaning and writing I don't really have the creative drive I had when pregnant with Z.  It could have something to do with the crazy acrobatics that Boo is doing pretty much everyday.  With Z there were kicks here and there, but with Boo it will be hours of ridiculous gymnastics, which make it seriously difficult for me to get comfortable.  The whole "forgetting I'm pregnant" thing is nearing the end.  Hip pain, heart burn and general tiredness are the name of the game right now.  It's less than a month ago until we meet Boo and we went through our name list and found a boy and girl name that we both liked, so that's good.  Other than that there has been no preparation.  I guess I should pack my hospital bag or something.  The fact that Z was 9 hours late for her due date has made me pretty laissez faire about getting ready because I "know" I still have 4 weeks when in reality Boo could show up at any point starting now.  SCARY!!!
    

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

FIL Left Yesterday

Liam was really bummed by his dad leaving.  He actually got a little emotional about it.  Not as emotional as I got when we flew from the US, but still a bit teary-eyed.  It really is amazing how having kids transforms the relationships you have with your parents and grandparents (in my case).  I think part of it is the fact that FIL is in his 70s as are my grandparents, so seeing them bond with Z and play with her and have her run up and give them big hugs and climb onto their lap with as many books as she can hold really is special.  And knowing that there is the possibility that something will happen to them and she won't remember this time is really sad.  But we get to see FIL and the rest of that side of the family in 3 months, so I'm sure she'll still remember him and if she doesn't, well she warms up to people super quickly.  FIL just spent tons of time laughing and playing with Z and being really impressed by her fearlessness and ability to flirt with anyone.  She'll get along just great with her little cousin Tom who is a year older.  I can see her trying to wrestle him to the ground in the first few minutes of that meeting.  With the exception of the seriously annoying "ta ta" sound that he made that was meant to be thank you, but seemed to replace most normal words in a sentence, such as "Ta ta Z the book, ta ta," while pointing at a book and the table.  Z would look at him like "Huh?" And then I would say "Z, grandpop wants you to pick the book up off the floor and put it on the table." Then she would look at me, like thanks for the translation and do it.  Other than that, the visit was really great.   

We discussed yesterday that we totally get how parents fall into the our kid is so special trap.  Our frame of reference is so limited to Z and we aren't really up on developmental milestones that should be reached or are reached ahead of time.  We just know that there are 4 year old kids who seem to be totally thrown by her ability to keep up with them, climb over what they are climbing and wrestle with them whenever she gets the chance.  She also has most of her regular animal sounds down, including a few out there ones like elephant, thanks to Dear Zoo.  Her newest discovery is her name.  She always responded when we called it, but now she says it and points to herself and then she will point to me and say Mommy and point to Liam and say Daddy.  She just woke up yesterday doing it.  She has also picked up "Oh Jeez" as the go to whenever there is a problem doing something, something falls or just general frustration.  This comes from driving in the car with Liam where he has to restrain himself from using his usual angry phrases when driving.  All in all, we try to refrain from falling into the "Well Z is doing this" unless people ask about her.
(Limited time only: Z enjoys shoes just as much as her father)

Oh and I have a baby due in just under 5 weeks.  Holy crap! That said, I still forget I'm pregnant unless I'm trying to get up from the bed or Boo is scaling the walls of my stomach.  Three things I'm looking forward to over the next couple of weeks 1) finally getting to go to a fondue restaurant I've been dreaming about for months 2) finishing these freaking papers 3) starting my freezer meal group and not needing to worry about cooking dinner for a while.